Alferes Malheiro || Franca Arquitectura || Architect of the Year Awards 2020

Franca Arquitectura : Honorable Mention of Architect of the Year Awards 2020. The Alferes Malheiro Street starts at Largo Tito Fontes, showing us the central city, step by step, almost in a quiet hypnotizing thriler. The south point draws a skyline with the tower of the Trindade, seeing as if the centre lays itself under the tower, forgetting about all the architectural and urban transformations that the city has suffered, where co-exist ruptures and interpretations of the traditional architecture.

Architecturally, with the rehabilitation of the facade and the new proposal of volume, it contributes to the consolidation of the character of the street, completing the height of the buildings on the street and the dominant alignment. The biggest change is the adding of more floors (The North building has ground floor plus three and the South building has ground floor plus two), redrawing the east facade, faced by the street and increasing the height in order to reach the same as the aside building.

In relation to programmatic parameters, it was solicited the maintenance of the housing character, now as a collective housing building, reorganizing the space and dividing it in a number of fractions that allows a shape and volume harmony. It resulted in 9 fractions shared between two buildings – North and South. It was also added, the renew of the covering materials and the update of the infrastructure, with ecological environment efficiency concern.

The studied draw for the ventilated facades comes from the inspiration of old hydraulic mosaics, offering a strong personalization of the complex, defining without ruptures the new and the rehabilitation. It results in a repetition of a panel composed by perforated phenolic material creating shadows, offering an aesthetic of the details.

The second building brings a smaller visual impact, not only by its volume but also for its construction system, the fair-faced concrete, allowing a good connection with the existing structural walls. Increasing the green area, keeping the existent yards at south of the north building and creating external spaces at the south, balconies and terraces.
In terms of interior, the intention was cheerful enlighted spaces, living the individuality and details of each flat. The initial idea to reinforce the fair-faced concrete appeared to be the ideal transposition between the outside and inside, achieving a spotlight in all surfaces of the public access and the roofs.
At the stair´s volume, the concrete makes a contrast with the green doors and the signals that identifies the flats, humanizing the path, making it integrated with the city, linking it to the house. The interiors were decorated with simplicity, without naïds and pretending that, further more than building a home, they´d be original pieces with some vintage touches.
Highlighting the positive achievements reached by the efficient energy solution adopted: At the north building, the double insulation at the external walls and the interior, allowed a thermal inertia and an acoustic barrier of excellent quality. The south building, didn’t allow to make the insulation by its exterior, so to solve this, it was purposed the inner barrier made of cork.

Firm || Franca Arquitectura
Project Name || Alferes Malheiro
Architect || Ana da Franca
Architect of the Year Award Category || Residential Built

Project Location || Porto
Team || Arch. Ana da Franca, Arch. Guilherme Gil, Arch. Inês Pinheiro Torres, Arch. Joana Menezes
Country || Portugal
Photography ©Credit || ©Pedro Bruschy, Luís Cavaleiro

Founded in 1999, in Porto, Portugal, FRANCA Arquitectura has been developing in a coherent, progressive way, as a consequence of the demands of our clients not only in quality terms but also in quantity. The growth on the technical and human levels has been constant, searching for an expansion and a self management alongside new projects with a diversity of typologies. Apart from the Architects, our team relies on the collaboration of a management platform, engineering, photography and design with whom we share the same goals.
Its work presents a range of projects with a diversity of themes such us furniture, ephemeral architecture, houses, offices, stores, buildings and urban allotments.

Besides the urban and architectural development, the office commits on reconstruction, rehabilitation and restoration of buildings, guided by the passion of its Architects in intervening in a built city and inspired by their home city – Porto.

Our work is mostly constructed in Portugal except for MED MARKET store in Nyon, Switzerland, which was FRANCA Arquitectura’s first international experience in 2015. This project came as a reinforcement of the calling our office feels in intervening in the architectural patrimony.
In a global universe of over 250 projects, we highlight the buildings in the downtown of Porto, the MED MARKET Store in Nyon Switzerland, the reconversion of an old house in Foz Velha into a Child Care, inPorto, Portugal, several houses spread all over the country, the offices of SPGM, in Porto, Portugal, The offices of IAPMEI (Agência para a Competitividade e Inovação, I.P) /ICEP, in Porto – Portugal and the offices IAPMEI (Agência para a Competitividade e Inovação, I.P) in various points in the country.